tv Special Report With Bret Baier FOX News December 7, 2011 4:00am-5:00am EST
>> bret: president obama appeals for a fair shake for the middle class. republicans charge class war for a. thiwarfare. this is "special report." ♪ ♪ >> bret: good evening. i'm bret baier. speaking of war, president kennedy once remarked that life is unfair. today, president obama channeled another past american leader to appeal for fairness in a modern day political and economic war. chief white house correspondent ed henry has the story. >> reporter: calling at it make-or-break moment for the middle class, president obama chose a chilly slice of middle america to paint his vision of economic fairness. >> i believe that this country succeeds when everyone gets a fair shot. when everyone does their fair share. these aren't 1% values or 99% values. they're american values.
>> reporter: that reference to occupy wall street was not an accident. aides admitted the speech was a chance to lay out a competing vision for 2012 campaign against republicans. >> the philosophy is simple. we are better off when everybody is left to fend for themselves and play by their own rules. i am here to say they are wrong. >> reporter: the president made his case in kansas where the former republican president theodore roosevelt spoke in 1910. trying to get elect again as progressive, roosevelt called for fairness, enabling this president to wink at his critics. >> for this, roosevelt was called a radical, he was called a socialist. >> reporter: the president said he was not engaging in class warfare -- >> some billionaires have a tax rate as low as 1%. 1%. that is the height of
unfairness. >> reporter: the second reference to 1% is the reference that wall street veterans. recently had an open letter demanding the president stop. >> rather than create a class warfare dialogue, why could he not say that we're in a difficult economic environment and all of us have to do more. do more and create impression that wealthy people don't pay taxes. >> reporter: the latest bipartisan plan to extend the payroll tax cut has a 2% surtax on millionaires. with a carve-out for small businesses. >> we can have arguments to whether the taxes should or shouldn't be paid for. we know paying for them makes it easier to get it passed. >> reporter: not in this case say senate republican leaders. >> democrats can have another week of fun and games on the senate floor while tens of millions of working americans go another week wondering whether they'll see a smaller paycheck. >> mcconnell is saying if any bill with a surtax is going nowhere, democrats bring it up so the republicans stay on defense.
what will break the log jam is if house republicans pass a version without a tax hike. it would force a compromise. >> bret: more on this with the panel. ed hiry live at the white house. we learn -- ed henry live at the white house. we learned a half hour ago the head of the aviation administration resigned. babbitt wassiced up over the weekend for drunken driving and they said he was operating the vehicle on the wrong side of the road. stocks were mixed today. president bam is trying to talk to europeans to fixing their economy. fox business network senior washington correspondent peter barnes reporting on a real work-out for tim geithner. >> the treasury secretary hit the gym this morning in germany. before his heavy lifting with european leaders. tim geithner is hopscotching across europe on a three-day mission to push leaders to step up efforts to containtary debt crisis. before it spreads across the
continent. and possibly across the atlantic. and hurts the u.s. economy ahead of an election year for geithner's boss. >> the united states and economy as a whole that germany and france along the other nations to build a stronger europe. >> reporter: the americans want a financial firewall to contain the crisis. countries and banks. credit rating agencies standard & poor's wants that, too. expanding its downgrade the debt of european countries to include the new bail-out fund as well. the europeans are considering a proposal. including a stronger central union with pro-government spending and maybe more help from the european central bank and the imf. but the u.s. is under fire for its own fiscal problems and congress is unlikely to
consider any more taxpayer funding for the imf to help europe and the white house has no plans to act. so officials say geithner can offer little more than feedback and advice. >> restructuring the currency union is largely a european problem. there is not much the americans can contribute. it's offering moral support. the administration is covering itself so things come apart it can't be said we didn't do enough. >> geithner also shot down a german newspaper report that the federal reserve is getting ready to assist in a bail-out. european leaders are trying to race to finish their work on their plans before a big summit meeting on friday. bret? >> bret: peter, thank you. violence broke out in marches tonight in athens, greece. the third anniversary of the fatal police shooting of a teenager. protesters clashed with riot police outside parliament as greek lawmakers inside debated the 2012 budget. newt gingrich is once again leading the latest republican presidential polls. the chief political
correspondent carl cameron shows us that it makes gingrich an easier target for those down bow low. >> reporter: now it gets rough. with iowa caucuses four weeks from tonight and newt gingrich leading the polls, ron paul launched the first direct attack ad attacking gingrich for profiteering in washington and occasionally selling out conservative principles. >> four-point individual mandate. folks, don't ask me to explain this. >> everything that gingrich railed against when he was in the house, he went the other way when he got paid to go the other way. >> it's about the serial hypocrisy. >> the latest "washington post" poll in iowa shows gingrich far ahead of paul and romney who are tied at 18%. the race is wide open. 52% of the likely caucus goers say they may change their mind. gingrich surge in iowa is surged by the tea partys. the latest public policy poll shows gingrich doubles romney over voters over 65. among tea partiers, gingrich leads michele bachmann and paul. romney barely registers. iowa republicans now think
gingrich has a slightly better chance of beating president obama than romney. rick perry and paul, not so much. romney was in arizona this afternoon. collecting the endorsement of former vice president dan quayle. >> conservative values need to return to the white house. and mitt romney has those conservative values to take america in a new and better direction. >> in mishome state of massachusetts today, the secretary of state ruled that more than 450 boxes of records from romney time as governor which he kept private under state executive privilege must now be made public. gold mine for opponents. romney backers are rattled by the gingrich surge. trent lottt wrote "i have disagree agreed with his strategy. he could have close the deal out before now and he has run too much of a risk averse campaign. it would have liked to have him a higher profile and more aggressive so it didn't wind up as romney and one other." on fox this afternoon, romney called gingrich 40-year washington insider and reassured supporters he will
go avenue him. >> the role of the leader of the speaker of thousands will be examined carefully. people will measure our capacity to lead. >> romney explained his slip knowledge the polls as a function of the race tightening before iowa and new hampshire and his closing arguments will be loud and clear. day after gingrich accepted the trump debate invitation, romney was clear about that. he is not going. >> bret: he will be at our debate december 15, next thursday. thank you. more pressure tonight on russia over allegations of voter fraud in sunday's parliamentary elections. senior foreign affairs correspondent amy kellogg reports some of sitcoming from the u.s. and some of sitcomming from russians. >> reporter: further protests took place in russia tonight despite warnings from the government and beefed up security with elite special forces. hundreds of have been arrested including opposition politicians. people are angry of the short calling of the government vladimir putin and dmitry medvedev. the authoritarianism and
corruption. now allegation of election fraud. putin's party took a hit in parly men their or duma elections on sunday. he vowed to clean up the government. >> the next stage is the election. as we said there will be a serious significant review of the government. >> demand kick-start the soviet union opening up russia. doesn't give putin promises much credence. >> i don't believe the team will have real opportunity to open up plan. >> hillary clinton repeated her concerns today about the allegations of harassment of election monitors. >> as we have seen in many places and recently in the duma elections in russia, elections that are neither free nor fair have the same effect. we have serious concerns about the conduct of those elections. >> both the u.s. and britain called for a thorough investigation in allegations
of election fraud. russian foreign ministry says the u.s. criticism of russia's election is unacceptable. in london, amy kellogg, fox news. >> bret: a suicide bomber struck a crowd of shiite worshipers in kabul, afghanistan today. 56 people were killed in the worse of two attacks on a shiite holy day. it was the single deadliest strike in the afghan capital in three years. secretary of state hillary clinton met with siren syrian opposition leaders in geneva. violence in homs killed 50 people. dozens to bodies were left in streets there. the leader of egypt muslim brotherhood says he is prepared to compromise with the ruling military on the formation of a new government. muhammad says fears of the islamization of egypt are overblown. the brotherhood and another islamic group the more conservative party has dominated the first round of
>> bret: the obama administration is adding leverage to a push to improve the way gays and lesbians are treated abroad. chief washington correspondent james rosen reports on a new financial incentive. >> marking international human rights day, secretary of state hillary clinton urged the world to see gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals as fellow human beings whose sexual orientation is genetics, not of choice. >> we need to ask ourselves how would it feel if it were a crime to love the person i love? how would it feel to be discriminated against for something about myself that i cannot change? >> in a men ran dumb,
president obama ordered the state department and usaid to use foreign aid where possible to have equality for the lbgt sits. i am deeply concerned about the violence and discrimination for lgbt persons around the world. whether it's passing laws that criminalize the lgbt status, beating individuals for joining the peaceful pride celebrations or killing, men, women, children for their perceived sexual orientation. >> first and foremost, it will continue to raise the profile of the lgbt issues internationally. in many countries, 80 countries it's still the fact that it's criminalized for lgbt people to be who they are. >> the u.s. embassies and the department of the homeland security will improve protection for lgbt asylum seekers to evangelical christians and others viewing sexuality as sinful. hillary clinton had a ready answer. >> the commitment to protect the freedom of religion and to defend the dignity of lgbt people emanate from a common source. caring for others is an
expression of what it means to be fully human. >> but even some who saw the president order as admirable also saw ulterior motive at work. >> the gay and lesbian constituencies is important to president. they do fundraising in the community. my sense as other things in the administration, a political document. >> asked how president obama square this order with his own refusal to endorse the right of gays and lesbians to marry in this country. aide said it's only dealing with the first iteration of questions; namely, freedom from violence. >> bret: thank you. a senate sub committee discussed a bill to require television coverage of supreme court proceedings. it's sparked by the upcoming argue in the the high court over the president obama healthcare law. those are scheduled for some time next year. the federal judiciary is looking for a few good judges and apparently not finding them. another potential replacement was rejected today by the u.s. senate. correspondent shannon bream is
here to tell us why. good evening. >> reporter: hi, bret. a seat on the federal bench that has been open since now supreme court chief justice john roberts vacated it sex years ago. it appears that hallegan will not fill it. today, they were calling her judicial advocate prong for the job. >> she herself once put it, the courts are a means to achieve "social progress." with judges presumably writing the script. >> democrats today rivered to the 2005 bipartisan gang of 14 agreement in which a group of senators agreed not to filibuster judicial nominees absent "extraordinary circumstances." say by blocking hallegan nomination, the g.o.p. killed that understanding. >> if republicans are going to suddenly jump that six-year armistice, it could risk throwing the senate in to
chaos. on judicial nominees. senator republicans seem to want to declare open season for filibusters of judges again. >> the president says he is deeply disappointed that hallegan nomination was blocked and called op republicans to stop the practice. republicans point to these numbers. they are currently 84 federal judicial vacancies only 47 nominees. of those, 26 haven't made it out of the democratically controlled senate judiciary committee. that means the democrats have 21 nominees before the full senate. just a quarter of the number needed to fill all the open slots. president george w. bush tried to fill the open seat nominating an attorney multiple times. yet democrats never allowed him to get to a full senate vote either. bret? >> bret: shannon, thank you. still ahead, why would someone want to take away the source of nearly one-fifth of california's energy? plus, it appears that the collapse of mf global was not a complete surprisep@?ñm ñoyó
>> bret: bank of america agreed to pay $315 million to investors who claim they were misled about mortgage-backed investments sold by its merrill lynch unit. the settlement of the class action lawsuit must still be approved by a judge. bank of america has already put up $13 billion this year to settle similar claims by other investors. former democratic illinois governor rod blagojevich will learn his fate tomorrow. his sentencing hearing on corruption charges began today in chicago. blagojevich was convicted on 18 counts. including trying to auction off president obama's old senate seat in illinois. another long-time democratic politician is about to return to public life. although not under his own terms.
a senate panel voted today to subpoena former mf global ceo jon corzine who is already scheduled to appear before a house committee in two days to testify about the collapse of his wall street brokerage firm. correspondent doug mckelway reports. >> reporter: the expected appearance this thursday of the former democratic new jersey governor and u.s. senator before the house agricultural committee will be jon corzine's firs first citing since the bankruptcy. five days later that have to explain the role in the eighth largest bankruptcy in u.s. history. >> it's in the history of the agricultural committee. >> the senate committee decision to investigate m.f. global that traded commodities future is a show of the bipartisan unanimity reflecting the anger of the company mismanagement that left $1.2 billion of customer money missing.
>> everyone has been hurt by the situation. they want to know where the money is. >> they say it disvalued the company stock. the "wall street journal" today reported that corzine ignored repeated warning by the company chief risk office they're betting on europe's sovereign debt was too risky. according to the journal, m.f. global exposure to european debt ballooned from $1.5 billion in late 2010 to $6.3 billion this fall. >> that is why you have safeguards in place. that's why you have a chief risk officer. the real feeling is you have people with the m.f. global stop and say wait a second. high concentration of risk.
>> bill clinton's consulting firm was paid $50,000 a month to advise corzine on improving his image. >> m.f. global ended the contract with clinton's if i recall when corzine resigned. spokesman said mr. clinton himself was never paid and nor did he offer advice to m.f. global. in washington, doug mckelway, fox news. >> the owner of a mine where 29 men died last year will pay restitution and fines. the accident at the upper big branch mine was the country deadliest coal field disaster in decades. it does not preclude future prosecution on criminal charges. evangelist billy graham is back home from the hospital tonight. the 93-year-old minister was released today after a week at the north carolina medical center treated for pneumonia. we tell you how one part of the country is fighting terrorism with snow cones.
a really odd couple on the washington party circuit. the grapevine i the employee of the month isss... the new spark card from capital one. spark miles gives me the most rewards of any small business credit card. the spark card earns double miles... so we really had to up our game. with spark, the boss earns double miles on every rchase, every day. that's setting the bar pretty high. owning my own business has never been more rewarding. coming through! [ male announcer ] introducing spark the small business credit cards from capital one. get more by choosing unlimited double miles or 2% cash back on every purchase, every day. what's in your wallet?
>> bret: now fresh pickings from the political grapevine. naacp say the new voter participation law across the country are voter suppression targeting minorities. the civil right group plan to bring its complaints to the united nations human rights council. 67-page study found 14 states enacted what it calls restrictive measures, such as
photo i.d. requirements. thissy all the is comp hencive in the reach and was launched in time to affect the 2012 elections by blocking access to people of color, the poor and the elderly, and the young." supports of the laws contend they fight election fraud and suggest showing identification should not be a requirement hard to meet. >> if you plan to invite bob woodward to a din pear party with -- dinner party with al gore, don't sit them together. in a research speech they said that gore is not a great table mate. said it was taxing, unpleasant. woodward said he asked gore how much the public knows about what went on in the clinton administration and gore said 1%. woodward says i kind of died inside and have to confess to having an unclean thought. woodward asked gore if gore
were to write memoir how much would americans know then? gore's response 2%. finally, the battle against terrorism continues in western michigan. one snow cone at a time. 13 counties received $900 snow cone machines. courtesy of a homeland security grant. local media reference a senate document claiming the machines have a variety of uses, among them making ice to treat injuries. prevent heat-related illnesses in emergencies. and to provide snow cones during promotionm events. one county reportly requested a popcorn machine and was turned down in the homeland security grant process. californians may soon get a chance to decide whether nuclear power is worth the risk. correspondent adam housley reports on a new effort to get rid of a major source of energy and concern. >> the nuclear plant once produced enough energy to power hundreds of thousands of homes. now it sits deserted, shut
down by voters in 1989. in the wake of fukushima accident in japan nine months ago the man behind the closure has his sight set on california remaining two. >> i think we owe it to our children. and to generations to come to do this and do it now. i think now is the time is right. particularly because the focused in people's minds. >> activists ben davis says the largest nuclear disaster since chernobyl proves nuclear power is too risky. >> we are a mirror image of japan on this side of the pacific and put it on the core front of every californian's mind the risk of the power and unknown of the risk of the pow rer not worth the benefit we're gaining from it. >> the energy industry largely disagrees saying that fukushima was a unique accident and one not likely to happen in california. >> we need to not be reactionary and say clearly about the risk and benefit involved in the energy system and make clear choice here.
>> nonpartisan state analyst office estimates if it were closed it would cost the state billions, electric rates would spike and rolling blackouts would be likely. >> they provide four times power of solar and wind farms in california combined. if we take those offline to get rid of the zero carbon and zero emissions power we have to preplace it with something. >> the proposed idea needs 200,000 signatures. analysts say even if it passes the fed could step in to prevent the law taking effect. in los angeles, adam housley, fox news. >> bret: china's president is urging his navy to get ready for a fight. french press agency says he told commanderers to make what he called extended preparations for military combat. the pentagon is downplaying hu's remarks saying that beijing has a right to develop its military.
it is not just another political debate. this is the defining issue of our time. this is a make or break moment. for the middle class. we're greater together than we are on our own. i believe that this country succeeds when everyone gets a fair shot. when everyone does their fair share. [ applause ] when everyone plays by the same rules. [ applause ] >> bret: president obama in kansas today. harkening back to president teddy roosevelt who gave a speech in 1910 trying to get elected again as a progressive. he, too, called for fairness. this, of course; was a moment in which president obama said is a crucial moment for middle
class. republicans immediately charged that this is all about class warfare. about what this? bring in the panel. damon stoudamire from the hill. mara liasson. and syndicated columnist charles krauthammer. a.b., you thought on the speech, the moment, the reaction? >> i don't know that there is so much reaction. it's a speech in the afternoon that he gives speeches and something he relies on too much. i think if he hadn't given some of the speeches on healthcare and other things people would want to listen right now about speech of fighting for the middle class. income disparities. statistics he cited are staggering. it's a potent political argument for the president. he is running against republican economic policies. he is going to spend the next year talking only about his policy to fight for the middle class and the republican policy that protect the wealthy. the wealthiest earners in big business. he is going to continue to
debate the sunsetting of the bush tax cut. that is the entire focus of the next year, whether or not he can ask for money from the republicans in sunsetting the bush tax cut for the top bracket to use for deficit reduction and other things. the rest of the speech was the same stuff we have heard before. you have to invest in education. wind turbine and infrastructure. i don't think it's really going to get a big bang. >> bret: is he tapping in to something new that the administration somehow feels is going to connect with the middle america better? >> i think the administration feels that the new issue, the new focus on income and equality is a new lease of life for them. for months and months we debated about deficit, austerity and really was playing on the republicans' turf. now they have got the powerful statistics that shows that the middle class is not advancing as much. not being able to move up the ladder as he says. the rungs on the ladder are getting farther and farther apart. you have to sense that even if people work hard and play by
the rules they still can't move ahead. he is focusing on that. he has to come up with something more than a payroll tax cut or letting the top rate of the bush tax cut expire. he needs a whole program which i think the speech was the beginning of trying to do. he needs a big theory about how the economy is going to grow and prosper. >> bret: charles, the republicans counter two things. one is he hasn't led in the process of debt reduction or even on the payroll tax cut. and two, that there is a growing sense from affluent even democrats that say they are tired of getting hit over the head and being the black hat, the enemy from this democratic president. >> that is the point, i think this is obama's, the premise for the whole campaign. look, he himself was asked can you say to americans are you better off than you were four years ago? the answer was no. so he has got to find an excuse. he starts by blaming george bush.
you have can do that for a year or two. after that it's whining. then he tries to blame the world. the arab spring. european debt crisis. the japanese tsunami. that doesn't exactly work. it looks like weakness. so what does he do? he is not going to channel teddy roosevelt. he didn't break up any trusts. did he break up the banks? no. did he break up any cartels in healthcare? no. on the contrary. centralized healthcare. he is channeling franklin. cousin, because he ran. in 1936 in a bad economy, exactly like obama, and what did he do? he ran against the plutocrats and he says the reason you are suffering and the reason that the middle class is squeezed, nothing that i did. it's not the way i did a stimulus or obamacare. or anything in my administration. it's because of the rich.
like jon corzine i would ask. it's not a plausible argument. you can argue that there is inequality in the country but not cause of difficulties. it's out-of-control entitlement, debt, inefficient bureaucracy. it's everything you want. but i think in the end, the argument is present he loses on it. but it's all he has got. he is running on it. >> bret: his mother is from kansas and he started the speech in an inauspicious way. take a listen. >> well, it is great to be back in the state of tex -- oops. [ laughter ] state of kansas. i was fbi bill self a hard time. he was here a while back. >> bret: bill self is the basketball coach of kansas. >> it's hard to remember all 57 states. >> bret: mara, it's not about that, but about the payroll tax cut situation on
capitol hill. there is now a bipartisan proposal, another one put forward by senators mccaskill and collins. is there a chance that this one goes through? it also has a surtax on millionaires of 2% but it carves out small business. >> i think this one has a chance. it depends on whether the republicans want to draw an absolute line in the sand they don't want to raise tax on millionaires at all. period. but i do think this is a bipartisan proposal that offers one of the complaints that the republicans have had, that the millionaires surtax would hit small businesses. democrats say only 1% of the small businesses would be affected. now sizen call lins has a -- susan collins has carve-out. i think it has chance. every republican leader on capitol hill says they want to do this. we are only arguing about the pay-for. i think the democrats want the debate the go on. >> bret: because the republicans are vulnerable on this issue. >> they are vulnerable and it's divided.
it's unusual that republicans are in disarray. usually the democrats can't get their act together but eventually it will pass. it cannot imagine republicans letting the taxes go up for 160 million americans. >> they always knew this -- we have been talking at this table for months since the spring. the two things would expire. these things had to be done by december 31. republicans knew this was coming. they could have had a very beefy proposal about unemployment insurance reform, what training would be required and means testing. they have nothing. they are waiting for the supercommittee to answer the problems. they not have to be in this corner. of course they will pass this at christmastime. they pass payroll tax. >> bret: even with a surtax on millionaires? >> they are running out of options. as mara says it is the only one on the table. they are not coming up solutions themselves. they have given them extra time off and try to punch it in the week after. this is, the hour is very late. on something they knee that they will do. >> bret: charles? >> remember, holiday for payroll tax was planted
originally in the deal that mcconnell and obama hatched in the lame duck session last year. this is one of the unfortunate remnants of that. there is no way in which people will allow repeal of what is called a one-year holiday. it will become a perpetual holiday. >> bret: next up, more good news in the polls for newt gingrich. we know a place where tossing and turning have given way to sleeping. where sleepless nights yield to restful sleep. and lunesta can help you get there, like it has for so many people before. when taking lunesta, don't drive or operate machinery until you feel fully awake. walking, eating, driving, or engaging in other activities while asleep, without remembering it the next day, have been reported. abnormal behaviors may include aggressiveness, agitation, hallucinations or confusion. in depressed patients, worsening of depression, including risk of suicide, may occur. alcohol may increase these risks. allergic reactions, such as tongue or throat swelling,
speaker gingrich is a friend. i respect him but we have very different life experiences. if the american people believe what we need is someone who spent the last 40 years or so in washington, d.c., working as an insider he is the right guy. >> i don't know that you ought to count running the senate in 1994, running for governor and then running for president for
six years, i don't know if that makes him a career politician or not. i'll let you decide. it's fair to say i have been a successful candidate a number of times. >> bret: this should get interesting. speaker gingrich and governor romney going back and forth. new polls out. national poll from gallup has speaker gingrich up, and up big. 37-22. there you see ron paul in third at 8%. national poll. let's take a look at the "new york times" cbs poll out of iowa. this is without herman cain in the race. newt gingrich at 31%. mitt romney, 17%. ron paul is 16%. you see governor perry at 11%. a "washington post" abc poll out of iowa. a lot of polls. iowa, there you see gingrich at 33. starting to coalesce around the double digit lead for gingrich right now in iowa. finally in south carolina, winthrop poll out. gingrich at 38%. romney at 22%. you can see the rest there. back with the panel. mara?
>> that is quite a lead. it looks like he is doing what all the other anti-romney wannabes couldn't do, consolidate the conservative anti-romney vote. so newt gingrich is on the top of the pack. those polls you showed. plus florida shows pretty much the same thing. newt is really surging. the question now is what is the successful attack line for romney to use against him? i don't think the clips you showed, i don't think the career politician will work because newt gingrich doesn't look like a blow-dried politician. he is totally authentic in that he has tremendous numbers of flaws, rumpleed, speaks his mind. especially when he gets himself in trouble. i don't think that romney can use the flip-floper charge against gingrich either because he has that problem himself. i do think the erratic leadership line might work a little better. i am waiting to see if he or his surrogates use that. >> bret: whether romney can deliver an attack or have the surrogates do it for him, there is concern in the romney camp. former senator trent lottt
romney supporters early on and still, said this. i disagreed with the strategy speaking of romney. i think he could have closed the deal out before now, he run risk averse campaign. i would have liked for him to have had a higher profile, been more aggressive it didn't wind up as romney and one other. is it that now, a.b. can he go on the attack in time before iowa. >> it's always a two-man race. romney knew that the party was going to resist him. they would be looking for other choices initially. voting has started and it's time to attack. i recommend surrogates like tim pawlenty, chris christie, dan quayle or a super pac with nasty commercials about his erratic leadership style. >> bret: what about the history of backlash in iowa and new hampshire when the process starts? >> the problem, this is what,
the only good news for mitt romney, bad news is he is serious and he can't wait longer to self-destruct. ron paul is doing well in iowa. if he can depress newt's numbers a bit so the percentage that michele bachmann and rick santorum get coupled with paul can take bang out of gingrich victory there. then he has more momentum going to new hampshire. the hour might be late but he has no choice. might be a boomerang effect but there is no choice. the polls show a 15-point lead in early states. no choice but move quickly. >> bret: we should point out in iowa and new hampshire, five of ten, six of ten voters say either they could switch their decision or they haven't decided yet. meantime, we mentioned michele bachmann, rick santorum, ron paul all going for the conservative vote. two weighing in on romney and
gingrich. >> they're the great pretenders. they are trying to pretend and talk and walk like they are conservatives when they hardly have a conservative record. >> gingrich railed against when he was in the house, he went the other way when he got paid to go the other way. >> bret: ron paul campaign ad. >> we talk about surrogates there. ron paul is the best surrogate romney ever could have on this. obviously, he is acting and an independent agent. he is possibly number two or possibly number one but the attack on newt will have to come from others that want his spot, bachmann or santorum in iowa. you spoke about the history of iowa. two cycles ago when the democrats had howard dean and againhargephardt in the lead.
ultimately, winning the nomination. i don't think iowanss are open to nasty attacks. i think what romney has to do is go to new hampshire as the firewall. he has to win -- if you are a romney supporter he has to win big in new hampshire. he had a huge lead, 30 points or more. right now it's about 16. anything less of 10 or 15 is seen as a defeat. that is where he stops momentum. otherwise he could collapse unlike any other front runner in that position. >> bret: mara, new hampshire has its own history of turning front-runner aceway. when mitt romney goes in with a big lead in the polls in new hampshire, there well could be surprise there as well. never know. >> it shows how hard is it to play the expectations game. romney has been cagey about iowa, didn't want to try too
hard so if he didn't win there it wouldn't look like a defeat. now he faces possibility of coming in third there, which is bad for him. in terms of new hampshire, they do have a record of surprising -- surprises. he has a deep, deep organization there. for him to not do as well as expected in new hampshire, which is the equivalent of his home state would be devastating. >> bret: last word, jon huntsman. >> jon huntsman is not going to win new hampshire. >> bret: win, place, show? >> i think he will do better than people think. i think that gingrich buzz is going to shake up the race. gingrich phenomenal depresses jon huntsman support. >> in new hampshire, independents will participate and possibly could be the ones to save romney. >> bret: that is it for the panel. stay tuned for herman cain's parting shot.
nomination of course saturday but not before giving his reporters inspiring speech straight from a cartoon. >> these words came from the pokemon movie. [ laughter ] >> life can be a challenge. life can seem impossible. it's never easy when there is so much on the line. >> yeah. words we mind me of when ronald reagan challenged america to be great again by saying scooby dooby do where are you? we got some work to do now. >> bret: when you quote pokey monday. thanks for inviting us into your home tonight. that is it for "special report," fair, balanced, and unafraid.